Aloe Earth

aloe_flowers_2It is Earth day today, the 40th anniversary, in fact. Have you had it in mind at all? I was pleased, in following the leadership debate that took place today over in the UK, to hear very interesting and serious content in the answers about what the various party leaders were doing on environmental both personally and in terms of policy. Over the years we’ve rapidly come to a point where it’s no longer a trendy or fringy issue in front line politics, but a mainstream one with impact in all aspects of policy.

On the left (click for larger view) is the rather elegant flower (two of them) of one of my several aloe vera plants. They’re quite unexpected and rather lovely I’d say. Several different types of bird have been attracted to them and it is a pleasure to look over at them (and others) and see what birds are settling on them at different times of day. These have included several humming birds, and a highly unusual (for my garden) yellow bird that I have not identified. It is about the same yellow as the flowers, actually. Quite a bold bird that stood its ground for a while and gave me quite a yelling at when I surprised it by stepping out there one day. If you know what it might be, let me know…

Happy Earth day, and Earth Week. I hope you find time to be mindful of the earth at large for at least a little while. Remember, even if you don’t have a lot of growing space, there are options to have a little meaningful growth in quite limited space, even indoors. Go back and look at my post about the excellent book The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. It’s a good book full of ideas that might work for you.

-cvj

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5 Responses to Aloe Earth

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  2. Supernova says:

    Goldfinch or lesser goldfinch would be my first guess, especially if there was black on the head. Could also have been any of several warblers, though they tend to be more shy. How big?

  3. Clifford says:

    I think you’re correct. American Goldfinch, entry #503 of my National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (er… Eastern Region), 1995 edition, looks exactly like the fellow I saw. Thanks!

    -cvj

    P.S. Less colour in the Lesser Goldfinch, and so sticking with above.

  4. Supernova says:

    Yes, the lessers tend to have more black on the nape and shoulders. Goldfinches are really amazingly gold, aren’t they? They always remind me of flying dandelions. If you want to encourage them to hang around your hard, you could put up a feeder or mesh “sock” filled with thistle seed. But it sounds like your diverse plantings are doing the trick on their own!

  5. Clifford says:

    Their colour is quite unreal-seeming at times (in a good way!). I remember the first time I saw one some years back on one of my strelitzia plants. I was quite shocked at the stunning colour. Somehow I did not work out then what it was, or I forgot. So thanks for your tip!

    Cheers,

    -cvj